“We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” – Chuck Swindoll
I remember it like it was yesterday. The Appalachian State Mountaineers had not suffered a home loss in 30 straight games. Then on October 20, 2007, six weeks after we had defeated Michigan in the Big House, the Georgia Southern Eagles came to The Rock and walked out with a 38-35 victory.
I was mad. The trash can I kicked on the way out of the stadium had done nothing to me, but I felt it should be punished for its part in our undoing. My friends and I spent our walk back to the car loudly blaming our players, the refs, our coaches, the band, the hot dog vendors…anyone involved with the program.
I wrote this a few days after Jim passed away. It’s been a year since he left us. I didn’t really have a title for this. Probably makes more sense just to call it “Jim.” My heart still breaks when I remember him. At some point I hope to be face to face with the guy who came up with cancer. I have a couple choice words and tough questions for him. Until then…
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – – Jackie Robinson
Jim and Sonja
When Sonja and her aunts say his name, you not just hear, you feel the reverence in their voices. He was more than a mere mortal man to them. Even though they lovingly refer to Jim as one of the girls, they’re kidding; he was anything but. He was a man’s man. He rebuilt and rode motorcycles. He smoked cigars. He fixed things. He worked hard to provide for his family.
The “one of the girls” moniker was because he would rather hang out with his beautiful wife than watch a football game. He acted as if he was forced, kicking and screaming, to the car for day long shopping trips. He jokingly complained about them afterwards. But, his mischievous grin betrayed him. He loved the time spent with the Fields women. And they doted on him.
After winning the Appetizer Contest at a New Year’s Party we attended I was asked for the recipe. Here you go. I’m a little embarrassed by how easy it is. The dipping sauce only has three ingredients, but tastes like you spent some time on it. Enjoy.
3 lbs Ahi tuna steaks
J.O. and T.O.
My buddy asked me to take a look at his Dad’s obituary before he submitted it to the paper. He wanted to know if there was anything he left out. Reading it I became painfully aware of how difficult it is to reduce someone’s life to 1100 characters that will fit in a 6 inch column. “He served his country during the Vietnam conflict while in the US Army.” Do you know how much that sentence omits? I’ve seen pictures and heard stories that let me know those few words could be expanded into a book. Continue reading
Because hundreds of thousands of people* keep telling me “you should blog” and I have a ton of extra minutes a day on my hands, here you have it. See the “About” page for disclaimers. My first series will be about The FaceBooks. Yes, I know the cool kids don’t use FB any longer and don’t call it The FaceBooks, but I’m old.
Stay tuned for random thoughts from my head. If you have a topic you would like my thoughts on, although I can’t see that ever happening, feel free to ask.
*this is an approximation…it may have just been one person who is tired of me talking so much.